Quarantine Life Part 2: Glow Up

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With all the time we have to think and focus on what’s to come. Now is the best time to work on the things you’ve been putting off. There’s only so much television, social media, and phone conversations you can have. At some point, you have to take action. While everyone else is focusing on mundane things, you can be working on your glow up. Yes, there is no time like the present. I was moping around complaining about what I’m going to do? There’s only so much working and Netflix I can take. Besides the fact of being alive (Thank God), I have too much free time to waste. I’m not bashing anyone who may feel that surviving is good enough for them. I hope nobody feels slighted or ridiculed in any way. This post is for those people who want to glow up and need an extra incentive to do so.

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Fitness

I’ve been talking about wanting to work out again for a while. I felt the pounds coming on, and I was over it! Through the power of the Internet (via Facebook), my former boot camp coach contacted me after reading my comment about exercising. It started as a 21-day calorie quarantine crusher challenge. I’m currently on the 21-day 2.0 version, and this week I started the healthy living portion of the program. I’m addicted to working out again in a short amount of time. I’ve continuously been exercising since April 6th. I lost 4 inches so far, and I can’t believe how strong I’m becoming. I’m pushing myself like I never have before. I have more motivation behind why I’m taking this fitness journey seriously this time around. I may or may not share some time in the future. My main point is to set a realistic goal of getting into shape, and you’ll become addicted as well. Fitness has helped to improve my mood, which brings me to my next point of self-care.

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Self-Care

I speak about therapy often on this blog, so there’s no surprise why it’s apart of this post. Mental health issues are skyrocketing during this time. The self-isolation alone is enough to drive anyone crazy. Be sure to check in with yourself daily. Whether you decide to seek therapy or not, you need to have an outlet. The self-isolation isn’t the time to hold your emotions in as it can have dire consequences. You can journal as well if you don’t feel comfortable sharing with others. Anything to express how you feel will do wonders. The main point is to get rid of those negative thoughts in your head. Be careful how you speak to yourself and what you allow yourself to hear. Negative talk can seep into your brain and get into your sub-conscience. Then ultimately, it will manifest into disruptive behaviors. Now is a perfect time to work on self-care if that’s an area that needs improvement. You have loads of time to practice, so get to it!

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Career

I wrote a few posts back about my plans to get a new job this year. I started the process, but so far it hasn’t panned out. Rejection is redirection into an area I need to be. I began to look inward at my network for a job as I would like to have a regression proof career. That regardless of what’s going on in the world, I would still be able to support myself. I had two informational interviews so far, and I’m currently working on the third. I struggled to try to secure these networking opportunities before coronavirus, but now it’s happening—the exact definition of a blessing in disguise. Based on the feedback I received, I need to get additional training under my belt to aid in securing a new job. It will show future employers that I’m capable and ready for the new role. I know which training I need to take because it’s what’s required/most requested. This information is critical because, without these informational interviews, I wouldn’t have known. When the next job prospects come along, I’ll be more prepared. My biggest takeaway was if I want to get to the next level, then utilize my network. You never know who someone knows or how that one interaction can bring you closer to your dreams.

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Finances

It is sad to hear on the news about the unemployment numbers. I’m grateful I can work from home and still receive a paycheck. The quarantine shed light for me about how I need to create a better financial safety net for myself. As the old saying goes, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. I recently checked my 401(k) to see when the last time I re-balanced it. (If you aren’t familiar with the term, research it.) That is something that you should check periodically. You have to change your elections to receive the maximum benefit. Any safety net you create has to be under constant review. The safety nets include (in addition to 401(k)) Roth IRA, savings account, CD, stocks and bonds, 529 plans, Simple IRA, SEP IRA, traditional IRA, and Roth 401(k) to name a few. I’m not trying to provide any financial advice. This information is provided strictly as informational, and it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family. Having these safety nets removes the worry about what will happen in the event of an economic downturn. Even if you aren’t in a position to participate now, you can still learn for later use. The more you know, the more informed financial decisions you can make in the future.

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Your idea of glowing up can be completely different from mine, but you get the picture. It is a blessing to have this much free time on your heads. You can concentrate on all the things that you swept under the rug. Glowing up isn’t limited to clothing/appearance (I have purchased new clothes, so stay tuned world) but about what you’re feeding your mind and soul. I’m going to leave you with a quote my fitness coach told me. “If you don’t feel like doing something, then now is the best time to start.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Now go out there and glow up like a diamond!

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Don’t forget to check out the discussion question before you go, and I’ll see you in the next post.

How do you plan on glowing up during this quarantine?

New Year, New Changes

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Happy 2020 and I hope things are going well so far. It’s been a busy few weeks for me since the year started. There were a few things I wanted to work on to improve my self-confidence. I’m going to start Invisalign in a few weeks. I’m having issues with my bite, and I’m obsessed with having straight teeth. Now that my wisdom teeth are gone, it’s time for the process of my year and half of treatment to begin. However, I’m excited to see the results and have confidence in my smile back. I feel self-conscious about the facial hair on my face. I always wondered if that was the first thing that people noticed about me. Maybe not, but I feel like people are judging me based on my face. Laser hair removal is very pricey; however, I’m hoping my insurance covers the cost. In my case, this isn’t cosmetic as my mom has the same issue (good old genetics). I’m currently waiting for the Dr. office to get back to me on what the insurance will cover. If not, I’ll have to pay out of pocket. It’s not ideal, but this is something I’ve wanted for a while. It’s going to happen either way, but hopefully, insurance will cover the cost.

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Having acne is something I’ve dealt with for a large portion of my life. I want to clear up my face, and I believe my issues are hormonal. I’m currently working on changing my eating habits and drinking more water. However, I think there’s more to it in my situation. I went to a dermatologist a few weeks ago. I’m on a regimen where I have a cream at night and a gel in the morning. I use the products after I complete my regular skincare routine. I honestly see results so far. I go back in March to check my progress and see if my current prescription needs to change. So far, so good, so I’m praying everything continues to move forward positively. Due to my sensitive skin and eczema issues, it was essential to see a Dr. I struggled in the past with finding the right products to use. The products would irritate my skin or cause my eczema to flare up. Since my Dr. is aware of my issues, I’ve been prescribed products that didn’t cause the above concerns. Once my face is precise, I’ll do a before and after to show the results. Hopefully, it can inspire that clear skin is possible if you struggled with this your whole life. Going to the Dr. is okay, but you have to be disciplined and stick to your treatment plan if you want to see the desired results.

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If there are things that you want to fix that you may feel is holding you back, then change it. With this new year, there’s no point in continuing to be unhappy. Take baby steps, but if the change has financial impacts, there is a possibility that all the changes can’t occur at once. Pace yourself and do things in a comfortable and achievable manner. Most items are challenging to do because we talk ourselves out of it. Mental toughness is a real issue that we don’t discuss often. If we allow too many outside influences, it can hurt our internal speech. Sometimes it’s best not say anything until it’s complete. Not everyone will be happy, and they could even talk you out of making the necessary changes. Stick to your guns and don’t let the doubt of others block your blessings. Your dreams/goals that you want to achieve is on the other side of your comfort zone. Go out there and live your life NOW! If something is bothering you, get it fixed ASAP. Improving your self-confidence is a fantastic feeling and anything that impacts that is an obstacle to remove.

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How do you plan on making new strides in this new year? Are there things that you want to improve on or new goals for this year? In what ways will you implement these changes?

Surviving The Holidays

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It’s that time of the year where it can be stress-inducing or fun times with family/friends. Some people look forward to the holidays while others look for an exit. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, the holidays either gives you feelings of intense joy or misery. No fear because I’m going to help you with surviving the holidays. Take a look at my six steps below to have the best holiday ever! As always, let me know your thoughts and share your tips with others to help them improve their holiday as well.

Time Limit

If there is a particular family member who pushes your buttons or you can only handle them in small doses, then you need to set a limit on how long you will stay. You can schedule prior engagements around family time so you can give a heads up that you will be leaving early. For example, you can let the family know ahead of time that you will stay one to two hours. This way, people won’t be surprised once you head out of the outing. You will create a win/win situation. You get to hang out with family, but you don’t have to stay longer than required. Great way to keep your mental health in check while getting that family time in for the holidays.

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Self-Care

One thing people tend to forget about is self-care during the holidays. It’s essential to listen to your mind and body during this time. If your body is tired, it’s best to get that much-needed rest. Remember the old saying health is wealth. If you aren’t feeling your best, you won’t be interested in spending time with friends/family. Of course, the holidays adds even more stress that you don’t need. Start to use some self-care tools such as journaling,  spa, meditation, etc. The point is to get centered and feel great, so you can be your best while enjoying the holiday season.

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Significant Other/Children

One of the biggest reasons people dread being around family is annoying questions about children and a partner. I get these questions often, and I brush it off. It took me a while to get to that point, but no worries if you haven’t reached this level yet. People are naturally curious and nosy. Once you reach a certain age, people expect these things to have occurred. Remember doing something in your own time is okay. It’s nobody business why something hasn’t happened yet. Just because everyone has done it,  doesn’t mean something is wrong if you haven’t. Don’t even engage when these conversations come up. I noticed that the more you focus on it, the more people would poke at you. Once you ignore people, they tend to leave you alone. If you find that doesn’t work, let this person or people know if they don’t back off, then you will limit your interactions with them. Once folks see you mean business, that should get them to back away. If not, these are people you need to move away from your life.

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Budgeting

When it comes to Christmas people, tend to go all out. At the same time, it’s important to remember your life outside of Christmas. Don’t go broke playing Christmas as your bills aren’t interested in the gifts you brought for others. The bills are still due regardless of the holidays coming up. If you have to set limits for how much you can comfortably spend, speak up about it. The true meaning of the season is the thought, not the amount of the gift. If it’s going to cause you financial hardship, it’s not worth it. Let people know upfront about your budget requirements. The folks who love you won’t mind if you require a cap on the gifts this year. If anyone does give you grief, that’s someone to take off your list. You don’t need ungrateful people in your life.

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Creating New Traditions

One of my favorite things about the holidays is existing and creating new traditions. As we age-previous traditions may lose its luster or it doesn’t hold the same significance. The great thing about the holiday is you can always create a new tradition. You see more instances of Friendsgiving is becoming more popular is a result of new traditions. People also have ugly sweater parties and girls night in Christmas pajamas. It’s another way to get into the holiday spirit while creating a new tradition that can get passed down. I created new traditions myself. I ask friends to come over to help me decorate for Christmas, and I wear Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve while wrapping last-minute gifts, and I have my friends (myself included) wear ugly sweaters during our gift exchange. These little joys help to get me in the holiday mood and avoid being a Scrooge. Helping to create traditions has helped me with learning to appreciate Christmas more than I have. As a child, you focus on the gifts, but as an adult, it’s more important to spend these precious moments with loved ones.

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Cherish The Moments

I saved the best for last. I know the holidays can be a drag, but remember, it’s a blessing to have folks who get on your nerves. I know a few of you of said, “What,” but hear me out. Some people have nowhere to go on the holidays. That could be due to circumstances or life in general. The beauty of you having friends/family is that you can change things for the better at any time. These moments you can’t get back. There are no rewinds or do-overs in this life. If a simple sorry or I forgive can change the outcome, then let it. It’s not worth going through another holiday being upset with each other. Love a little more, and spread good holiday cheer. If you need encouragement, volunteer at a soup kitchen this holiday season. That would quickly help you to put things into perspective. Enjoy your time with your family, especially if you only see them once a year. That’s even more of a reason to cherish every moment.

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Do you think any of these tips will help? What are some tips you use to survive the holidays? Share your thoughts below.